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The Growing Need For Home Care and Long Term Care Planning

Many baby boomers will be coming aging alone. According to AARP in 2010 11.6 % of women 80-84 are childless and in 2030 that will increase to 16%. These women also have to face the fact that they do not live close to family and will have to pre-plan how they will take care of themselves as they age. This is one of the many reasons why the home care industry is in high demand.  As an individual ages they will more than likely need to have help with home care and activities of daily living such as bathing, cooking, and dressing. I would suggest that these women purchase long term care insurance prior to needing it. If you read this article and can identify the fact that you will need additional help as you age from a home care agency please try to take the steps now before it is too late so that you are well cared for.  There are may programs that provide elderly support for seniors but pre-planning for the time will make life so much easier.This will ensure that they will receive proper home care when the time arises. This will ensure that that they are not struggling to pay for the home care services that they may need. Read below about an article that explains the growing issues of baby boomers, aging alone, paying for home care and what needs to take place prior to getting to the age when help may be needed.

 

Elderly Support and Long Term Care Planning

 

The deeper my age propels into the senior years, long term care planning cannot delay. This is the first of a series on how I plan to care for myself in the elderly years. Like most over 60 years of age, we haven’t planned well, and adults like me who live without a spouse or children cannot afford to put it off. Even my parents delayed making arrangements. But they had four children they could rely on for  home care. I don’t, nor does my sister or many of my friends…….

These matters are important for long term care planning and elder care support

  • Healthcare challenges
  • Keep physically fit and mentally healthy
  • Eating right and taking medications
  • Am I investing properly?
  • Am I saving enough money?
  • When should I begin taking Social Security?
  • How to afford health care in retirement
  • Outliving my money
  • How to enjoy retirement
  • Long term care needs
  • Does aging-in-place make sense?

A few months back, my personal concerns with elder care nudged my curiosity and I wrote, “Who will care for us, the aging, childless and single people?” Since the topic affects me intimately, I’ve made it my mission to research the “elder orphan or adult orphan” concerns and to share my findings. Over the next 12 months. I will write about what I learn and what my plan will be.

Elder orphan research and Long Term Care Planning

The other day, I spoke with Dr. Maria Torroella Carney, chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System, about her research on the topic. (I believe she coined the term, elder orphan, but I could be wrong.) Carney’s study discovered close to 22 percent of Americans 65 years and older are in danger of becoming, or already are, an elder orphan. As of 2012, there were 43 million people over 65 in the U.S., up from 35 million in 2002. There will be many of us, and as my plan unfolds, I hope to motivate you — to make one also.

How I discovered Dr. Carney and the research was serendipitous. Anna Medaris Miller interviewed us in “No Spouse, No Kids, No Caregiver: How to Prepare to Age Alone, for The U.S. News, and World Report. In the article, Carney warns, “The risk of finding yourself without a support system may be on the rise since the family gives the care.” And that struck a chord in me.

It’s not news to me, but the geriatrician has me thinking about my elder years. I have enough sense to know that if there’s no solid long term care plan in place, then the chances are good that I may not have the opportunity to live life out as I hope. ………..without children.

Who are elder orphans and How is Elder Support Affected By This?

  • We are the socially and physically isolated aged living in local communities
  • We live without a family member or a designated surrogate
  • We have a higher vulnerability to losing the decision-making capacity
  • We use only a few community resources and are lonely
  • We have a high risk of losing independence and safety
  • We aren’t acknowledged (as a group) that will need more attention and care……………

Other alarming Elder Support Facts Founded by AARP

  • In 2010, the caregiver support ratio was seven helpers for every person over 80
  • By 2030, the rate will decline to four to one
  • By 2050, the number of caregivers falls to three to one
  • Health risks associated with aging orphans (Carney’s new research)

Carney’s research  on elder support found:

Loneliness — a predictor of functional decline (loss of ability to complete ADLs and IADLs), cognitive decline, coronary heart disease, and mortality

Social Isolation — linked with medical complications, poor psychosocial well-being, mental illness, restricted mobility, and poorer functional capabilities. People in social isolation typically lack adequate long-term commitment from a healthcare proxy……..

 

What needs to happen?

The geriatrician says, “The medical and social community must actively screen for elder orphans before they lose function or admitted to a healthcare facility.”

    • We also need to think about the issues like who will care for us, our housing arrangements, estate planning and whom to put in charge of our financial matters.
    • It’s crucial that the people you care about and who care about you, know what you want…………..

 

Click below to read the entire article about aging and planning for home care or long term care

Elder Orphans: A Baby Boomer’s Aging-Alone Plan | Carol Marak.